(4ac) Particulate Process and Product Design

Authors: 
Emady, H. N., Arizona State University



Particles are widely used in industry, with over 50% of products and over 75% of raw materials in the chemical industry in particulate form, yet less engineering and design principles exist than for their liquid and gas counterparts.  In most chemical plants, the production rate of liquids and gases is 90% on average, while it is 40% on average when particulates are involved.  Therefore, there is a strong need to study particulate systems, as well as to train students in this area, especially since most undergraduate chemical engineering curriculums do not include particle technology. 

Many industries, including pharmaceuticals, food, agricultural chemicals, detergents, catalysts, and consumer products utilize particulate processes to produce varying particulate products.  Product specifications may include size and shape of particles, or physical stability of a suspension of particles.  My research interests lie in particulate process and product design, with specific applications in wet granulation, the stability of particulate products, the fundamentals of powder/liquid interactions, and the scale-up of particulate processes.

My doctoral work at Purdue University focused on the process of single drop granule formation for regime separated granulation towards the production of round particles, and I developed a regime map that predicts particle shape based on the formation mechanism.  Following my Ph.D., I joined Procter & Gamble’s Microstructured Fluids group as a postdoctoral researcher, where I studied particle suspension in yield stress fluids towards product stability.  I am currently a postdoctoral associate at Rutgers University as part of the Catalyst Manufacturing Science and Engineering Consortium, exploring the scale-up of rotary calciners via experiments and discrete element method (DEM) simulations. 

The common theme in my work is the design of particulate products and processes via the study of fundamental phenomena involved in particle-particle, particle-fluid, and particle-equipment interactions to produce required product specifications.  My unique toolkit of experimental techniques and computational modeling, coupled with my first-hand industry interactions, makes me well-qualified to tackle any particulate process and product design problem.  As a professor, I plan to continue my ventures in this field and to establish a world-class particle technology research program, while simultaneously inspiring and educating students in this area as well as all other areas of chemical engineering.